Leap of Faith

Leap of Faith

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Do you ever feel as though you’re just drifting through life and wish you could be more like those people you know who are motivated and who achieve incredible things?

I do. I sit and watch from the sidelines as friends and family members reach for the stars and have found myself envying the satisfaction they glean from their achievements. I want to be more like them because I too have dreams. I think we all have. But what stops some of us from fulfilling our purpose in life?

From high-flying executive to cleaner

I know my purpose isn’t just to be a wife and a mother and all that this entails. While I don’t mean to denigrate these roles, I feel as though I have more to give than these roles allow me. I have a burning desire inside me to carve out my own identity and invest time in my own creative energy. I often tell my kids that I used to be someone, once upon time. That someone wasn’t very good at cleaning and cooking but spoke five languages and travelled the world with a very stimulating and rewarding career. Fifteen years on and I’m now good at cleaning and cooking but no longer have the confidence or the skills I was identified by, all those years ago.

What makes us tick?

So, I’ve spent the past few days reminding myself of what motivation is and why some of us have it in abundance and some of us are stuck with the scraps.

To begin with, it is clear from research about the human psyche that beyond our physical survival, our greatest need is to be loved, to be understood, to be validated, to be appreciated and valued. We are all different and we each have our own unique purpose. The question is, do we know what that purpose is, however humble it might be? The only way to know the answer to this is by getting in touch with our true self and seeking to understand our capabilities and trust in our right to dream.

Blame and envy

I will be honest and admit that I have at times blamed circumstances beyond my control for my lack of drive, for lacking the ability to go after the things I aspire to in life. Now, in my wisdom, I am waking up to the real meaning of taking responsibility for myself and my life. If we break the word down into two parts: responsible and ability, we can understand it better. I have the ability to respond, in whatever way I choose, to what life throws at me. Equally, I have the ability to choose how I respond to my own mind talk. Do you ever listen to your own mind talk? If it’s anything like mine, it will tell you regularly that you are not good enough, that you are lacking, that you shouldn’t even try doing something because you’re just going to fail etc, etc. What a load of codswallop. How many of us allow this crap to dictate to us?

Shut that voice up

The good news is that we are better than that voice inside. It is because we listen to it in the first place that it has become a strong voice. It is time now to ignore it and eventually it will fade away into the background and a more powerful voice will take its place: ‘I am good enough, I am okay as I am, and I am going to be true to myself and fulfill my life’s purpose’.

Decisions, decisions

And that’s where it all starts, with one decision. Those people we admire, who we believe we could never be like, made one decision too. That decision comprises of a promise or commitment to do what they’ve always wanted to do, whether it’s running a marathon on every continent in one year, starting a new company from scratch or simply recovering the person they always knew they were meant to be before alcohol or drugs got in the way.

Believe in You

Knowing our capabilities is important and will impact on our success but having a sense of faith in what’s possible is also key to ensuring that we don’t sell ourselves short. We don’t always believe in our own capabilities, so it’s helpful to have faith that you are just as deserving as anyone else.

In order to believe in ourselves, we need to build ourselves up from the bottom. Take my writing as an example. I’ve been going on and on about this book I’m writing for what seems like an eternity. I keep losing focus and, on reflection, I realise it is because I allow self-doubt to seep in and distract me from my goal. I reckon this is what happens to many of us. We set out with the best intentions but find it difficult to overcome setbacks such as self-doubt, injury or circumstances beyond our control. It is at these moments we have to remind ourselves of our ‘response ability’. How will we choose to respond to these setbacks? I reckon it is at this point that successful people find what it takes to stay on track. They don’t allow any voice in their head to tell them they’re too lazy or stupid or they’re wasting their time. They keep the commitment they made at the forefront of their mind and remain steadfast in their goals.

Incremental wins

We cannot rely on luck alone to get us through. Wanting success is easy but are you willing to put the work in? We have to be willing to step outside of our comfort zone. Successful people have to work hard… even the most talented.

Behind their success, they keep a secret ingredient stored for good measure. Their success is based on a series of small wins that they have outlined for themselves from the outset. Nobody can get through all that hard work without having some benefits along the way. These small wins allow us to build confidence to help us in our endeavours.

Let’s take a person who has dreamed of running a marathon and finally decides to go for it. They have never run more than 3km before, therefore the idea of running 42km in one hit will be overwhelming. But the idea of getting to 5km, then 8km and so on, will be more manageable. As each milestone is reached, dopamine is released in the brain to make them feel good and to urge them to keep going so that more dopamine can be released. And therein lies another secret about successful people. They have developed a habit that makes them feel good, physically and mentally. The more we practice the daily habit of working to achieve our goals, the more we want to continue with it. I’ve no doubt it takes time to develop the habit, but once it kicks in, we can enjoy the feeling of being motivated without having to think too hard about it.

Celebrate your achievements

We need to apply this same thought process to any other goal. It is a matter of one step at a time and knowing that each step is taking you closer to where you want to be.  And each time we achieve those little goals, we must celebrate them. I’m a firm believer in the power of connection with others for helping us strive for success. It’s all well and good that we tell ourselves we are doing great, we are on task to fulfill our purpose, but it is even better when people we trust believe in us and offer us encouragement and applause.

Success and integrity

We must always take credit for our achievements as it helps to establish our inner integrity. I cannot emphasise enough the power we can extract from knowing that we are true to our word and that we are the decision makers in our own lives. Fulfilling our life’s purpose is about us doing what feels right for us and should never be done for anyone but ourselves and for no other reason than being true to who we believe we are. As long as we are sincere and live according to our values, then our success will benefit those close to us simply because we will inspire others to pursue their own dream.

I will leave you with this thought:

Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. Have faith and follow your dreams.

Thanks for taking the time to read this week’s blog, I hope it inspired you.

Gill Kenny - the Writer & Blogger

About the author – Gill Kenny

I have been writing for as long as I can remember. Through my blog, I aim to provide you with a place where you can feel valued by inviting you to share your journey too.  I will regularly have guest writers who wish to share their views or experiences on each topic. I am open to ideas and happy to cover any topics that interest you, so please feel free to share yours with me.

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Love, Gill x